155,000 people affected after Xinjiang quake

More than 155,000 people had been affected as of late Sunday, after a 6.6-magnitude quake jolted northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region early Saturday morning, local authorities said Sunday.

As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the number of injured people climbed to 52 and 48,000 people had been evacuated after the earthquake hit a mountainous area along the border of Hejing and Xinyuan counties at 5:07 a.m., followed by several aftershocks of 3-to-4 magnitude, said authorities of the government of Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture.

The quakes also tore down 7,500 houses and damaged another 64,000 houses.

China’s National Disaster Reduction Committee and the Ministry of Civil Affairs responded to the quakes and dispatched relief goods to quake-hit areas.

The ministry allocated 2,000 tents, 10,000 quilts and 10,000 cotton coats to the areas. The regional governments also dispatched 5.1 tonnes of flour and 480 kilograms of edible vegetable oil as well as 230 tents and 120 quilts.

The county’s government had organized 2,470 people to the disaster relief work and had been trying to repair the damaged main roads.

Experts said the quake-hit region, located about 3,500 meters above sea level, has been geologically active throughout history. Two earthquakes measuring higher than 7 on the Richter scale have jolted the region since 1900.

Xinhua